What are the toughest glassing situations you’ve found yourself in? For many, it may have been an early morning, low light hunt, picking apart the cedars and scrub oak, searching for that bedded muley buck. Others may have found themselves in the rugged mountains, scouring a far pine ridge, hoping for a glimpse of hidden elk. Some might consider the long days of scanning through Coues country their biggest challenge.
Over the last several months, I have been fortunate to encounter all of these scenarios, and more. And through all of these hunts, I count myself as fortunate to have carried the Riton Optics MOD 5 10×42 HD Binoculars to help me find countless animals.When I think of quality optics, and their benefit as a tool to make me a better hunter, several important factors stand out to include exceptionally clear glass, crisp images in low and bright light, and powerful magnification, all wrapped up into a reasonable size and weight that make it worthwhile to pack deep into the backcountry. Riton Optics knows the importance of these qualities found in high performance optics and focuses on functional ergonomics because they have many years of field experience.
My first hunting experience with the 10×42 HD came with one day left of an archery coues deer hunt.I had taken a few hours out of my hunt to specifically meet with the head folks at Riton down at their headquarters in Tucson, Arizona.After looking thru their line-up of glass, and speaking in depth with owner, Brady Speth, I was sold on the value of Riton Optics, and left with a nice selection of binoculars and scopes to put to the test.We spent the rest of that day picking apart the cactus and grassy flats, which left me with the feeling I had made a good decision.
My use of the 10×42 HD binoculars continued during the remainder of the summer scouting months, which I used to familiarize myself with how they would perform while glassing pronghorn, mule deer, and elk in my home state of Wyoming. Having previously owned a pair of Vortex Razors, which I initially kept on hand for comparison purposes, I was blown away at the improved brightness and clarity of the Riton 10×42 HD. After a few months of scouting, I was really looking forward to spending the countless hours behind glass which I felt would ultimately improve my odds of finding my tough to spot quarry.
When August finally drew to an end, it was time to do the cactus shuffle for spot and stalk archery pronghorn. While pronghorn are fairly easy to spot during that early time of year, determining if there is a buck worthy of a stalk isn’t. From low light mornings and evenings, to heat mirage filled days, the 10×42 HD binoculars performed flawlessly and the crisp, clear images allowed me to easily field judge dozens of bucks, and at greater distances than I had ever been able to do before.
The next opportunity to test out the 10×42 HD binoculars began just a few days after archery pronghorn ended, as I scoured thick sage, dense cedars and shadow strewn rocky ridges, looking for a mule deer buck who might give me an opportunity for a stalk into archery range. Days turned into weeks, and several blown stalks, and many opportunities to make my new glass do work. Many mornings spent glassing as the sun would finally peak over the ridge, left me with no doubt as to the ability of the 10×42 HD binoculars to transmit light when there was very little to be had. If there were deer, I was finding them.
Throughout September, we were able to spend many backcountry hours chasing bugling bulls.Despite hot, dry temperatures, and overpowering smoke from nearby forest fires that had the elk tight lipped, we were able to find bedded elk on shady tree covered hillsides, and easily field judge bulls up to two miles away.It had only been two months since receiving my 10×42 HD binoculars, but with every additional hunt, came added confidence that they were up to the task of serving my optic needs throughout the long season ahead. One of the highlights of September was definitely seeing my 15 year old son, Saxton, connect with his second bull elk, and third elk in as many years.He used his 10×42 HD binos all season and they are now an inseparable part of his hunting gear.
As September drew to an end, I was left with a pocket full of tags.A stark contrast to the prior year where I had filled mule deer, bear, pronghorn, and elk with my bow, as well as Alaska mountain goat… all before October.The scenario before me would be a challenge, and would no doubt require great long range performance from my Riton 10×42 HD binoculars, as well as Riton’s line-up of rifle scopes.
As luck would have it, October started out really well.I was fortunate to join Cole Simonson for a public land, left-over tag pronghorn hunt in Northern Wyoming.These hunts can be extremely challenging due to pressure and lack of public access. Cole’s plan was to go far, and that’s exactly what we did.After cresting several hills in the dark, my 10×42 HD binoculars not only picked up a great amount of light first thing in the morning, but also allowed me to distinguish worthy bucks, a couple miles away.11.3 boot miles later, we completed the opening day challenge with a solid buck in an area loaded with hunters.
One week later and we were back to hunting our home area for pronghorns.This time I was joined by my two oldest boys, Fletcher & Saxton, who were also both running the 10×42 HD binoculars.It was a crazy weather kind of day that is probably familiar to anyone who has spent any time hunting Wyoming pronghorns.Temps seemed to rise and drop by the hour, leaving us to deal with fog, rain, blizzards, and bright sunshine mixed throughout the day.The common denominator of the day, was the solid performance from our glass.The 10×42 HD bino’s remained fog free and clear throughout the fluctuating temps, which allowed us to judge dozens of bucks until we found the ones we each wanted to pursue.It turned out to be an epic family day, with my dad on hand, and all three of us filling out with nice speedgoats. All three pronghorn were taken using the also exceptional Riton RT-S MOD 7 4-20X50 rifle scope, between 250 & 600 yards. Look for my review on that scope coming soon.
My last opportunity to test the 10×42 HD binoculars came with just a day left in our 7 day mule deer season.It had snowed the night before this outing, and I knew the visibility would be tough during our hunt.I decided to hunt locally, so my 66 year old dad would feel comfortable putting in some miles as well.We headed out in the dark, crossing the river in waders before heading up the mountain.An hour later, with daylight creeping over the ridge, I was able to start glassing.It was tough.Extreme fog left me with about 200 yards of cloudy visibility. I impatiently waited for any sun to help lift the blanket, which it finally did.As the fog began to rise, I spotted a small group of deer near the top of the ridge about 400 yards away.A quick look thru the 10×42 HD binoculars gave way to two nice bucks I was willing to take.With nothing but open space between me and the deer, I settled in with my trusty .300 WIN MAG, topped with the reliable Riton RT-S MOD 7 4-20X50 rifle scope.It was a tough decision between the 30” wide typical buck and the other who had a unique character to his antlers.I finally decided there was just enough character to sway my decision, and he was mine.
Shortly after, my dad joined me for pictures and processing. It was a special day.I opted to take 100% of the deer off the mountain myself because I didn’t want my dad dealing with any extra weight in the slick snowy conditions.Little did we know how important that decision would be.A couple hundred yards down the mountain, we pushed a deer out of a steep nearby draw.I quickly raised my 10×42 HD bino’s and confirmed to my dad the buck was a shooter.And just like that, we had an awesome mule deer double, only our second in 28 years of hunting together.
I have been fortunate to spend 14 weeks in the field with the Riton 10×42 HD binoculars, in a wide range of environments. From the high mountain valleys of Wyoming, to the desert mountains of the Southwest, the 10×42’s proved themselves over and over. Remaining completely waterproof, fog proof, and dust proof, they performed exactly the way they were designed and as I depended on them to do. From the required quality and performance I demand from my optics, to their reasonable weight and rugged exterior, the Riton 10×42 HD binoculars have exceeded my expectations and will continue to be my go-to, long range critter finders. If interested in these or the other quality Riton product lines the entire arsenal of high quality Riton Optics can be viewed at: https://www.ritonoptics.com